National and Regional News
LA CROSSE, Wis. — Family-owned Kwik Trip convenience stores has expanded its offering of fuel containing 15 percent ethanol to 330 of its nearly 600 locations in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. Kwik Trip started offering E15 in just four stations in February 2017 and labels and markets it as "unleaded 88." The AMA remains concerned about the rapid spread of E15 and higher ethanol blends, because none of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and ATVs in use in the United States is certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to operate on blends with more than 10 percent ethanol by volume. And some vintage bikes require E0 (no ethanol) to run properly. Motorcyclists and ATV owners are urged to be alert when fueling their vehicles to ensure use of the fuel recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Don't just shop price.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) introduced the "Growing Renewable Energy through Existing and New Environmentally Responsible Fuels Act" in the U.S. House (H.R. 5212) and Senate (S. 2519). The American Motorcyclist Association supports these bills. The legislation would cap mandated ethanol content in the nation's fuel supply at 9.7 percent and require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to prioritize the use of cellulosic biofuel ahead of other biofuels when determining volumes below blend wall levels. In other words, the bill would stop the federal government from forcing E15 fuel (15 percent ethanol by volume) into the market. Capping the ethanol mandate helps ensure the availability of fuels safe for motorcycles, such as E10, and a continuing place in the market for ethanol-free gasoline (E0) for older motorcycles. Inadvertent use of E15 in vehicles not designed for its use can damage fuel system and engine components and void manufacturer's warranties. Tell your representative to support H.R. 5212 and your senators to support S. 2519 by using the AMA Federal Action Center.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Omnibus Spending Bill signed by President Donald Trump includes funding for fighting wildfires on public lands, and will allow money appropriated for recreation programs, maintenance and infrastructure to be used for those purposes, instead of fighting fires. Previously, those accounts had been raided for money to fight wildfires. Under the spending bill, wildfire suppression will be treated as a natural disaster.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A.B. 2972 would prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies from profiling motorcyclists. The bill provides a clear legal definition of motorcyclist profiling and includes a "relief clause" that would allow motorcyclists to pursue court action if they believe they have been profiled. The AMA is part of the California Motorcycle Anti-Profiling Coalition that supports this legislation. The bill was introduced by state Assemblymembers Anna Caballero (D-Hollister) and Kevin Mullin (D-San Mateo). The AMA position on profiling can be found at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/About-The-AMA/motorcyclist-profiling. The Assembly Public Safety Committee has set A.B. 2972 to be heard at 9 a.m. April 10 in Room 126 of the State Capitol Building. Click here to take action.
EL MONTE, Calif. — The California Air Resources Board is inviting the public to participate in an April 11 workshop to discuss the need for amendments to on-road motorcycle emissions standards and certification procedures. The purpose of the workshop is to discuss how motorcycles affect California's air quality and to lay out potential strategies to achieve needed emission reductions from motorcycles. CARB staff members will present technical and regulatory advancements that have occurred globally in the motorcycle sector and discuss how those advancements might be applied in California. The workshop is 1-3 p.m. at the CARB Auditorium (Annex 4), 9530 Telstar Ave., El Monte, Calif. The workshop also is available via GoToMeeting. For more information, contact Jason McPhee at (916) 323-1104 or Scott Bacon at (916) 322-8949.
PLACERVILLE, Calif. — The seasonal dirt road closure at Union Valley Reservoir in the Eldorado National Forest has been extended to April 15. Rainfall, soil moisture, road and trail conditions, and weather forecasts are factors that trigger extending the seasonal closure beyond March 31. "Most of the roads are still under snow which will be melting now that it is getting warmer," said Forest Supervisor Laurence Crabtree. "Some roads could still be damaged." The seasonal closure is designed to protect roadbeds and watersheds from damage and to protect water quality. Roads subject to seasonal closure are identified on a map that is available free-of-charge at all Eldorado National Forest offices and on the web at: www.fs.usda.gov/eldorado. The seasonal closure does not affect routes in the Rock Creek Area near Georgetown, which has its own route closure process. More information is available at www.fs.usda.gov/detail/eldorado/news-events.
SUSANVILLE, Calif. — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management Eagle Lake Field Office has completed a series of improvements at off-highway vehicle recreation areas in northeast California and far northwest Nevada. Crews have installed new vault toilets at the Fort Sage, Dry Valley and Rice Canyon recreation sites, adding to new amenities, including picnic sites, informational kiosks, and improved loading and unloading areas at each of the recreation sites. The BLM used last year's grant funds from California State Parks Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division and federal funds to complete the latest round of improvements. Fort Sage has more than 100 miles of trails suitable for all riding abilities. Dry Valley offers about 130 miles of roads and trails. The Rice Canyon recreation site has 120 acres of open riding areas. Rice Canyon has a beginner track ideal for youngsters and those new to OHV riding. There are no fees at these areas.
GORHAM, N.H. — Some residents of Gorham, N.H., have sued the city and some state agencies, claiming the noise and exhaust from OHVs and the "menacing behavior" of OHV riders on nearby trails hamper their enjoyment of their homes. New Hampshire's trail system includes public roads, abandoned railroad beds and trails on private property. Part of the state system passes through Gorham. The lawsuit names as defendants Gorham and the commissioners of the state departments of Transportation, Natural and Cultural Resources, and Resources and Economic Development. The homeowners are demanding permanent removal of the OHV trail head and trail from their neighborhood and damages for the claimed loss of value of their homes.
NELSONVILLE, Ohio — The Wayne National Forest plans to expand an ATV trail by completing the Pine Grove connector in two phases this year and in 2019. The project includes a 3.39-mile section between the ATV trail at Hanging Rock and the Superior off-highway vehicle trail. Tim Sloan, the forest's Ironton district ranger, said he is seeking volunteers to help with the project. Volunteers may call the Ironton Ranger District office at (740) 534-6500.
OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington Traffic Safety Commission has announced extra patrols focused on distracted driving, April 2-14. More than 150 law enforcement agencies will be out in force looking for distracted drivers. Under the state's new "Driving Under the Influence of Electronics" law, drivers may not hold cell phones or watch videos while they are driving, stopped in traffic or stopped at a light. Prohibited devices include phones, tablets, laptops or any other hand-held electronic devices. The law restricts hands-free use to a single touch.
IWATA, Japan — Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd. has developed the TY-E electric trials bike. The TY-E was on display at the Yamaha Motor booth at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show. The TY-E was created by the company's "Evolving R & D" activities, which focused on a trials model for competition. The team had to overcome electric vehicle development problems, such as high output from small and lightweight components and the ease of riding that responds as the rider would intend.
MILWAUKEE — Harley-Davidson Inc. has announced an equity investment in Alta Motor, which makes electric motorcycles and components, and that the companies will collaborate on electric motorcycle technology and product development. Harley-Davidson plans to launch its first electric motorcycle in 2019. "We believe that EV is where global mobility is headed and holds great appeal for existing riders as well as opportunity to bring new riders into the sport," said Harley-Davidson Chief Executive Matt Levatich. "We intend to be the world leader in the electrification of motorcycles and, at the same time, remain true to our gas and oil roots by continuing to produce a broad portfolio of motorcycles that appeal to all types of riders around the world."
MILWAUKEE — Harley-Davidson has launched youth apprenticeships in skilled trades to attract younger workers as older ones retire. According to a story at www.jsonline.com, 17 students are competing for six openings in Harley's youth apprenticeship in tool-and-die making, machine repair/maintenance and electrical maintenance. If the new program proves successful, the company may expand it to plants in Tomahawk, and York, Pa.
TOKYO — Honda has filed a patent application for a hydrogen-powered motorcycle. Drawings filed with the application depict a sport bike with shaft drive. A hydrogen fuel cell is housed under the seat. Fuel cell vehicles combine hydrogen and oxygen over a catalyst to create electrical energy that powers the motor. The only byproduct is water. Honda's Clarity automobile has been on the market since 2008, but availability has been restricted to areas where hydrogen fueling stations are in place.
BERLIN — German motorcyclist Remo Klawitter rode an electric Zero DSR motorcycle 1,000 miles in less than 24 hours on a looped ride between Berlin and the Land Centre for Renewable Energies in Neustrelitz, Germany. Klawitter said he wanted to draw attention to the practicality of electric bikes. He used only publicly available charging stations. The DSR was equipped with Zero's optional Charge Tank, which cuts charging time from eight hours to about an hour.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame welcomes motorcyclists and fans of motorcycling to its AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Spring Bike Night, 5-8 p.m., April 28 at the American Motorcyclist Association campus, 13515 Yarmouth Drive. The event, a fundraiser for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, features music, food vendors, free entry to the museum and a display of police department motorcycles. For all the details, visit the AMA website.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association welcomes MotoAmerica as a member benefit partner for 2018. MotoAmerica is the North American professional road racing series that is sanctioned by the AMA and is home to the AMA Superbike Championship. As an AMA benefit partner, MotoAmerica will provide AMA members with a 15-percent discount on general admission for select 2018 MotoAmerica events. AMA members also will have the opportunity to attend member-exclusive meet-and-greet events with riders at select MotoAmerica events. Full details are available at the AMA website.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Cliff Reed, of Tucson, Ariz., won a Beta motorcycle after riding the 2017 There Will Be Dust Beta AMA National Dual Sport Ride, hosted by Trail Riders of Southern Arizona. Thanks to sponsors of the Beta AMA National Dual Sport Series, participants who rode at any of the 2017 series events were automatically entered to win prizes from Beta, Sidi and Seat Concepts. Adventure Motorcycle Magazine (ADVMoto) was also a sponsor. Reed chose a 2018 Beta 390RR Race Edition and picked it up at On Any Moto in Tucson, Ariz. The 2018 Beta AMA National Dual Sport Series, presented by Kenda Tires, is also sponsored by Seat Concepts, IMS Productsand ADVmoto. The series schedule and detailed information about the events can be found at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Riding/Dual-Sport-Riding.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association welcomes Helmet House as a member benefit partner, providing AMA members with a discount on select purchases made through the Helmet House dealer network or website on specified dates during 2018. The Helmet House product lineup includes well-known brands of motorcycle riding gear and accessories, including Tourmaster and Cortech. For more information about this benefit, including eligible products and dates, please visit the AMA's member discount codes website at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/For-Members/Member-Discount-Codes.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The 2018 AMA Hillclimb Grand Championship, which pits top amateur hillclimbers against each other to prove their skill and determination, will be hosted by the Quaboag Riders Motorcycle Club in Monson, Mass., July 27-29. The AMA Hillclimb Grand Championship is the premier amateur hillclimb event in the United States, and competition will be fierce to determine who wins an AMA National No. 1 plate. For more information about the event and facility, please visit the Quaboag Riders Motorcycle Club's website at www.monsonmonster.com, or call (413) 267-4414.
* * * * *
AMA News & Notes is a monthly publication compiled and edited by the American Motorcyclist Association. Designed to inform motorcyclists of rights-related issues and events in the United States and around the world, AMA News & Notes welcomes your input. Suggestions and editorial contributions can be sent to AMA Managing Editor Jim Witters at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign up and stay informed: AMA News & Notes keeps motorcyclists up-to-date on hot topics, news affecting the motorcycling community and opportunities to communicate with elected officials. Click here to check the “Sign me up for News & Notes” box.
AMA Action Alerts notify motorcyclists when and how to make a difference on important issues. Click here to see the most recent AMA Action Alerts, or to sign up and receive them.
Readers also may sign up to receive AMA e-newsletters. For example, AMA Extra includes a summary of AMA news and Hall of Fame Insider focuses on the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. To subscribe to one or more, click here.
Protect your right to ride! Volunteering is easy, and it’s rewarding. To learn how you can help, visit us online.
Follow the AMA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/americanmotorcyclist, on Twitter @ama_riding and @ama_rights and on Instagram at @ama_riding.